Gallagher to sue RTÉ

The former Presidential candidate Sean Gallagher is to take legal action against RTÉ over the 'Frontline' debate.

The businessman will seek a declaration from the High Court that the debate in October of 2011 was "unfair" and "seriously damaged his electoral prospects".

In a statement this morning, his solicitor Paul Tweed accuses the state broadcaster of breaching a duty of care, negligence and breaching statutory duty.

He said the report of the internal review into the 'Frontline' programme strengthened his client's resolve and that Mr Gallagher has been left with no alternative but to pursue the matter in court.

Yesterday, RTÉ confirmed that a plenary summons had been received on Friday and said that there would be "no further comment for now".

"In the absence of a satisfactory response to a detailed letter of claim, on the instructions of Sean Gallagher, I am arranging to issue legal proceedings against RTÉ on a number of grounds, including breach of their duty of care, negligence and breach of statutory duty," said Mr Tweed.

"My client will be seeking a declaration from the Court that the RTÉ 'Frontline Presidential Debate' broadcast on October 24, 2011 was unfair and seriously damaged his electoral prospects.

"My client believes that he has been left with no alternative but to seek the assistance of the court, given RTÉ’s persistent refusal to offer any adequate or appropriate redress for what was the totally unacceptable conduct by them of the 'Frontline' broadcast, and which has had dramatic and extremely serious consequences for my client.

"Furthermore, RTÉ had taken the extraordinary decision not to broadcast a corrective tweet received during the course of the debate from the Official Martin McGuinness Campaign Account, which would have set the record straight while the programme was still live on air.

"The recently published report arising from the internal review regarding the offending broadcast, and the publication of provocative comments by the programme’s presenter, have compounded my client’s resolve to seek appropriate redress in the High Court.

"Accordingly, these proceedings will be vigorously prosecuted in order to bring this matter to a conclusion, once and for all."

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